Grazia: a friend comes back
Grazia was launched in 1938 and from the very beginning it distinguished itself as the first modern weekly women’s magazine for a broad audience. When it returned to the newsstands in 1946 following the much suffered interruption for the war, the subtitle was still “a friend at your side.” But in the meanwhile women were changing, at least according to women’s magazines. They were no longer the family virgin, finding a husband was not considered good fortune, being ugly a misfortune and being thirty and single did not mean you would be a spinster or life. The image of the new woman was one with a thin waist, pronounced hips and plentiful breasts as personified by Gina Lollobrigida, Sofia Loren and Silvana Mangano. Cinema was expanding and with it grew the desire of many girls to be beauty queens, above all in the Miss Italia pageant. “The newly discovered friend” was no longer trying to help its readers to be better wives and mothers, but rather to bring them to discover the new modernity as enjoyed by American women with their luxury cars, televisions in every house, big supermarkets and futuristic household appliances.
As soon as the standard of living started to increase so did the average level of consumption and many women began to write letters to the magazine asking for advice on what to offer guests after dinner or where to have their husband’s secretary site in the car. And by the end of the 50s, marriage was no longer a girl’s ultimate goal. To work and to be independent became girls’ maximum aspiration, even of those girls belonging to rich families. Jobs as a hostess or TV newscaster were much sought after. Those girls content with being a model replied to the contest launched by Grazia in 1959. Women could now choose to work not only out of necessity, as shown by a whole room completely full of applicant models’ pictures.
Since then, Grazia has always reconfirmed its position as the leading weekly in Italy in terms of prestige and image.